Monday, November 30, 2015

November Memories - Magnolia Circle

Magnolia’s November meeting was a tour of the St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral and lunch at the Clara White Culinary School CafĂ© at the Cathedral…the tour was given by Reed M. Dearing, Senior Docent…he not only gave us the history of the cathedral and the stain glass windows…the windows were beautiful…one of them is a priceless original Tiffany…he also added interesting antidotes…the organist was there…told us all about the organ and gave us our own “concert”…the lunch was good and the cafe serves as a way to help people gain the skills to assimilate back into society…everyone enjoyed the tour…the lunch...and the day.

Submitted by Stacia Snuggs

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Magnolia Circle's October Field Trip

Magnolia Circle's October meeting was a field trip to Earth Works Nursery...Mathew Barlow gave a very informative talk on planting produce in Jacksonville and gave us our own "Seasonal Planting Calendar"...the nursery can help you with all of your gardening needs and even has different sizes of Koi to stock your Koi ponds.

In November, Magnolia will be touring St. John's Episcopal Cathedral downtown...the Clara White Mission has a program that serves lunch on Friday's which we will attend...that means our meeting for November will be on Friday, November 13th...please let Stacia Snuggs know if you plan to attend.

Stacia Snuggs

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Our Newest Master Gardener

Congratulations to Joy Breitung on becoming a Master Gardener.  Not only has Joy found the time to attend the Master Gardener program she also serves as our Secretary on the Mandarin Garden Club Board.  She is truly a busy lady.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Magnolia Circle Meeting

Magnolia Circle will hold the first meeting of the 2015-2016 season on Thursday, September 10 at 10:00 am.  We will be joined by Mary Forester, Master Gardener Liaison for the Garden Club, as well as Circle Leader for the Live Oak Circle, for a tour of the Mandarin Garden Club gardens.  Mary, the Master Gardeners, and numerous volunteers have made many improvements in the gardens over the past year and the results are amazing!  When you walk through the gardens, we don’t realize the number of hours of labor it takes from numerous volunteers to maintain these gardens and keep them as beautiful as they are!  Mary will give us some history of the gardens, explain what improvements have been made in the last couple of years as well as answer any questions the group may have.  This will be a great tour and we welcome anyone from the other circles to join us as well.  Refreshments will be served as well.  

We will also be distributing the 2015-2016 yearbooks to the Magnolia Circle members at this meeting.  If you are unable to attend, please let me know and I will be sure to get the yearbook to you.  You may contact Sandi Bryan at 904-955-0154 or email me at  

Hope to see everyone on Thursday!  

Sandi Bryan
Magnolia Circle

Fall Fertilization/Pruning

The month of September should be the last month for any fertilization in your yard.  It sometimes takes several weeks for fertilizer to start helping your plants.  So if we have an early frost, the new growth may be smacked pretty hard with the cold weather.  The same goes for pruning – severe pruning stimulates new growth, so get your cutting back now and avoid any early-frost damage.

Martha Dysart
Horticulture Chairperson

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crafty Ladies Visit K9 Warriors Facility

Mandarin Garden Club's Thursday Crafty Ladies toured the new K9 For Warriors facility last week.  The Crafty Ladies Group raised funds to help support this worthwhile organization and presented a check to them during the tour. Barbara Price, Joyce Datz, Sonia Jacobson, and all of the members of Crafty Ladies are to be commended for their efforts in supporting our veterans.

K9s for Warriors pairs rescue dogs with military veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress, brain injury, and military sexual trauma post 9/11. They provide in-house programs to qualified veterans with professional canine trainers and dogs that will become a service dog for an American hero. This approach helps each veteran to recover and return to civilian life with independence and dignity. There is no cost to the veterans for this program.

The Thursday Crafty Ladies went out to lunch together after the tour and had a fun day together.

Bonsai Artist - Joe Day

North Florida Bonsai Club along with the Mandarin Garden Club will be hosting a Bonsai workshop on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:00 PM.  We are privileged to be hosting a nationally recognized bonsai artist - Mr. Joe Day.  He’s been working with bonsai for 30 years, and resides near Mobile, Alabama. Some of Joe’s expertise includes large trident maples, slab plantings, and some of his slabs are featured at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum.

He will be moderating a bring your own tree workshop for our club members.  The Mandarin Garden Club members and the public are invited to come as observers at no charge.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mandarin Food Bank needs our help!

Mandarin Food Bank is one of the charities supported by Mandarin Garden Club. They need our help with a contest they are in. Please go to and vote once a day on each of your devices (phone,computer, iPad, etc.) to help the food bank win $10,000 for first place. Last year the food bank came in second and won $5000. $10,000 will feed a lot of people so join the garden club in supporting Mandarin Food Bank. Thanks for your help!

Betty Waldrep

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Martha's Bloom Report

In the Crosby Perennial Garden 3 things are of note . . . The old-fashioned  “Pass Along” plant Clerodendron paniculatum (Pagoda Plant) is beginning to bloom – its common name comes from the shape of the flower – pagoda-like. It is called a pass-along plant since it has been “passed along” from person to person for many decades. This plant has a large tuber which multiplies in a “polite” fashion over several years, and so provides a nice patch which can be thinned for gifts. It is free of most pests, but aphids can cause the blossoms to be small and deformed – to rid the plant of aphids, just spray with horticultural oil several times over 3 weeks.
The ornamental banana Musa velutina is in bloom. It's interesting to note that the name velutina refers to the velvet-like seed pod coating of the fruit. Do not allow your curiosity to taste this banana – it is filled with seeds and slimy gel – I know this from experience !!
In Bed 1, the bright purple Thunbergia erecta (Kings Mantle) in beginning to bloom. This plant will get quite large (6 feet), but can be pruned severely, and still come back quickly. It might get some frost damage in colder spots, but will recover from the roots.
In the Ginger Bed, there are several species of Kaempferia (Peacock Gingers) blooming. They are all small, ground-cover plants with flowers which mostly look like African violets. Their leaves are their crowning glory, since they are patterned differently with very dark green spots. Each species is labeled, so you can distinguish one from another. This type of ginger is not happy with any amount of sun. They also multiply easily, but not aggressively.
Another type of ginger blooming now, is the Costus spicatus or spiral ginger. So called because of the way its stem grows – in a spiral manner, rather than straight up toward the sky. A third type of flowering ginger is the Heydichium coronarium var. chrysoleucum. This tall ginger has a fairly showy pale yellow/white blossom at the tip of its stem.
All of the gingers are semi-tropical, and most will go dormant during our winter. Their flowers generally last a long time when used in cut-flower arrangements. They are quite easy to grow, and can take more sun than you might think. However, the more sun they have, the more water they may require. If you are thinking of transplanting gingers, now is the time, since they are actively growing. Just be sure that you have a “growing tip” part of the tuber as part of your transplant.
Martha Dysart

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Plant Exchange 2015

Mandarin Garden Club members and special guests enjoyed a plant Exchange Saturday Morning. The ladies arrived early with their garden treasures and then toured the room until they found just the right item to take home. Once they found their special treasure, they stood by guarding it until it was time for the fun to start. When the bell rang, you scooped up your goodie, and ran to put it in a place labeled with your name, then back to the tables to pick out another prize. This went on for ten rounds. You can take home as many "goodies" as you bring. Thanks to Mary Forester, 2nd VP, for providing our members with a fun time on a hot summer morning. Thanks to all who helped clean up and the cookies were great, too!

Here's a few pictures from our event -

Friday, May 29, 2015

Annual Meeting and Installation of 2015/2016 Officers

We had a gorgeous day for our Annual Meeting.  The food and fellowship seemed especially good as we prepared for our summer hiatus and the election and installation of our new officers.

If you didn't get a chance to attend our Meeting let me introduce you to the ladies who will lead us next year -

Starting from the left -

President - Betty Waldrep
1st Vice President - Carol Walker
2nd Vice President - Mary Forester
Recording Secretary - Sandie Ingram
Treasurer - Wanda Bosworth

These ladies have been tasked with guiding our club for the next year.  Mandarin Garden Club is very blessed to have the knowledge and talent of these ladies to guide us as we begin our new year on June 1st.  Thank you for time and expertise!

Martha Dysart was presented the President's Award for her contributions to the Mandarin Garden Club.  Martha has at one time or another been involved in every aspect of this club.  Martha oversaw  the Driveway project we completed 2 years ago.  A much needed improvement enjoyed by all.

Thank you Martha for all your hard work and your love for the Mandarin Garden Club.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tid Bits from our Plant Sale

If you didn't get a chance to stop by our Plant Sale - here's some of the action you missed

Marilyn Clark (center) headed up our Bake Sale Ladies - she is being assisted by Wanda Bosworth (left) and Laura Miller (right).  Marilyn had many, many helper on Saturday.  Many thanks to our members who donated their home baked goods for our sale.

Judy Winckler was available to assist anyone interested in joining our Garden Club and also had an offering of  Mandarin Garden Club cookbooks and garden gloves for our patrons.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mandarin Garden Club's Yard of the Month

Mandarin Garden Club Yard of the Month for March was truly a labor of love.

Our March  home had set vacant for many months as a foreclosure.  The new owners have worked very hard to beautify the front and back yards.

The Mandarin Garden Club presents the Yard of the Month Award to a Mandarin area resident whose property reflects the natural beauty of Mandarin.

Congratulations to our March recipient.

Karen Rowe

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Construction is done!!!

Our newest addition to the garden is complete.

So many contributed to our latest project -

Left to right -

Wanda Bosworth - Treasurer in charge of paying the bill and supporter of the project.
Mary Howe - Demo Gardens Founder.
Mary Clark - Grounds Chairperson in charge of hiring and overseeing the project.
Mary Forester - Moral Support Team.
Becky Bathen - Designer and visionary of the need for this project.

A big THANK YOU to all of you!

So many ladies and gentlemen contribute to our demo gardens - we can never thank you all enough for the hard work you do to make our gardens a beautiful place to pause and reflect.

The garden is blooming and the weather is nice - please visit and take a stroll across our newest addition.

Happy Gardening....

Karen Rowe

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Under Construction

Our gardens are getting a new addition!

Mary Clark is overseeing this new project and I can't wait to see the finished product.  I know the rain is great for our gardens but it can sure wreak havoc on a construction project.  Hopefully, it will remain on schedule and we will  soon be able to enjoy the latest addition to our Mandarin Garden Club gardens.

If you haven't taken time to stroll through the gardens, please do.  The ladies work very hard to make our grounds a lovely, serene place to pause and reflect.  Mary Clark, Mary Forester, and Becky Bathen with the help of many, many, many volunteers work in the rain, cold, and blistering heat to give us these wonderful gardens for our enjoyment.

Speaking of gardening and plants - don't forget our Plant Sale on Saturday, April 25th.  We will have a wonderful offering of plants and gardening accessories.  Its a great place to shop for Mother's Day gifts, thank you gifts for teachers, and most importantly - new additions for our own garden.

Hope to see you there...

Karen Rowe

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Martha's Bloom Report


I seem to be concentrating on the Crosby Perennial Bed 1 in the last few reports, but that’s where the action is . . . Baptisia hybrid Carolina Moon (False Indigo) is in bloom – this is a natural hybrid and does not set seeds. It is a magnificent sight when blooming and then has the good manners to die back in mid-summer – not to be seen until next spring. Growing right beside the Baptisia is a good stand of Tulbaghia violacea (Society Garlic). This blooms off-and-on throughout the summer and is a truly bullet-proof plant. The only drawback that I can see is that when you are working in and around it the garlic odor can overwhelm you!! Mentioned before in previous reports, were the Serissa foetida (Serissa) and Osmanthus fragrans (Tea Olive). Both are still in bloom and worth your attention. Serissa derives its name from the rotten smell of its bark and roots when they are crushed or cut and foetida is literally 'foul-smelling' in Latin. The Tea Olive derives its name from the sweet aroma of its blossoms. These also go under the “bullet proof” label.

In Mary’s Butterfly garden, you should pay particular attention to the Angelonia angustifolia which has recently been planted there. Often called Summer Snapdragon because it will last in the summer without fading away as would “real” Snapdragons. The current hybrids are much improved over those in past years and are available in white, lavender, and pink.

In the Potager Garden the Punica granatum (Dwarf Pomegranate) will catch your eye immediately. It is supposed to thrive in hot, dry weather – so be careful where you plant it in our humid wet climate – find a high and dry spot !!
Again, our faithful Aloe vera (Aloe) is in showy bloom behind the kiosk. This thing blooms off and on – I don’t think it has a “season” - wonderfully orange and tall.

Mary Forester

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beginners Bonsai Workshop

The North Florida Bonsai Club in association with the Mandarin Garden Club is pleased to present our Spring 2015:  Beginners Bonsai Workshop.  This workshop is especially for beginners who have wanted to try bonsai, but never knew how to get started.  We'll be working on Ficus sp. - a tree that is "easy care" in Florida, but needs frost protection.  Each participant will get his/her own tree, special bonsai soil and an appropriate pot.  At the end of session 3, you'll have your very own bonsai to take home and enjoy!

What You'll Learn:

  • What “bonsai” really is (and how to pronounce it!)
  • How to style and shape a bonsai tree
  • How to prune and wire branches
  • How to find inexpensive sources of pre-bonsai plant material at local stores
  • How to fit a tree into those tiny little pots
  • How to keep your tree happy once you get it home!

These are casual, hands-on classes for people of all ages. You will have a chance to meet people who have taken past beginners classes and talk with them about their experiences getting started in this fascinating hobby. If you love plants and have an interest in learning about bonsai, come join the fun!

Dates:  April 28th, May 5th, & May 12 (3 sessions)
Time:  7-9PM
Cost:  $35 - includes tree plus all materials
Location:  Mandarin Garden Club - 2892 Loretto Rd, 32223

To register or more information, call Joe at 262-3995 or Ron at 545-4972.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Butterfly Vine

The Mandarin Garden Club hosts a Mascagnia macroptera, more commonly known as Butterfly Vine, Yellow Orchid Vine or Gallinita. However, in the horticulture trade the correct botanical name is Callaeum macropterum and the names are not interchangeable.This is one of those plants that should be researched via the botanical name. If you use common names, you may run across another plant entirely, called the Butterfly Pea Vine, Clitoria ternatea (also on the grounds of the Mandarin Garden Club). To add to the confusion, Mascagnia was previously classified as Stigmaphyllon ciliatum.

Butterfly Vine is considered a native of Mexico and is well-suited to a western exposure because of its high heat tolerance. Although fairly drought tolerant, it looks better with regular watering as long as you don't over water. It is thornless, disease free and unattractive to pests. 

Plant it in full sun to light shade and water to get it well-established. Afterwards, this vine will be very drought tolerant and require little maintenance other than pruning. Best suited for USDA Zones 8-10 where it remains evergreen in mild winters but is cold hardy to the mid-20s. It grows fast enough to be considered an annual in climates colder than Zone 8 but it is best to plant it in a protected area. If may freeze to the ground but will sprout again in the spring. It can be grown in a container, on a pole or fence, trellised, pruned as a flowing branched shrub, or grown as a ground cover.

From May to September, this vine produces clusters of showy, yellow orchid-shaped flowers with 5 petals about 1-inch wide. These are followed by clusters of papery, winged chartreuse seed pods resembling a butterfly. Allow these seed pods to dry on the plant. Once brown, use your thumbnails to pull the butterfly "body" apart and collect the seeds. Semi-softwood cuttings can be taken in late spring or early fall. These cuttings will be ready for transplant in less than three months.

Be sure to take a look at the Mandarin Garden Club’s Butterfly Vine to see this unusual plant for yourself. It’s in that area between the main building and the shed. In the flower bed at the wall of the shed, you'll find it on a trellis.

Linda Jones
Cherokee Rose

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Garden Related Events Around Town

Spring is around the corner (fingers crossed!) and we have quite a few garden related events around Jacksonville that will be of interest to many of you.  Mary Forester our Master Garden Liaison  has kindly provided me with a list to share with all of you.

March 21, 2015             Jacksonville Herb Society Festival & Sale
                                       Glynlea Grace United Methodist Church

March 27 & 28, 2015    African Violet Show
                                       San Jose Church of Christ
                                       6233 San Jose Blvd.

March 28 & 29, 2015    Orchid Show
                                       Garden Club of Jacksonville on Riverside Avenue

April 4 & 5, 2015           Linda Cunningham's Herb Festival
                                        2440 Lofberg Drive near Parental Home Road

April 7, 2015                   Spring Extension Program
                                         Mandarin Garden Club

April 11, 2015                Blooms Galore and More
                                        Garden Club of Jacksonville on Riverside Avenue

April 16 - 18, 2015         Arboretum Brush with Nature
                                        Top Landscape artists will be painting in the gardens.

April 25, 2015                 Jacksonville Rose Society
                                         Location to be Announced

If you have upcoming gardening events to add to our website please send the information to me at and I will be happy to add it to our list.

Happy Gardening ~

Karen Rowe

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hardscape Installation

A new hardscape has been implemented in our gardens.  Mary Clark had the vision, both Mary's did the search, and Mary Forester drew the design.  However, without the service of Doug Clark, a 2013 Honorary Members Award recipient of the garden club, the implementation of our mission would have not occurred.  The installation of this artwork provides the ornamental grass garden bed a gateway to enter the haven and one of our continued improvement to our gardens.  Job well done!

Thank you ladies!

Mary Forester

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Master Gardener Service Award - Mary Howe

Mary Howe (L) and Terry DelValle

Mary Howe, our on site demo gardens founder, was presented her 30 year Master Gardener Service Award at the January 7th Master Gardener organizational meeting.  Terry DelValle, Duval County's Extension Agent, presented the clock award at the meeting held at the Mandarin Garden Club with 33 Master Gardeners in attendance.

Mary was a 1985 Master Gardener graduate and continues sharing her leadership, knowledge, inspiration and gardening expertise today with all she encounters.  We are privileged and blessed to have a piece of garden heaven at our club thanks to Mary Howe.  Hail Mary!